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Old 08-29-2008, 07:57 AM   #1
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Removing/grinding large herbs?

Hi there, hope someone can help me out with this. I'm cooking for a bunch of people on Sunday, and I intend to cook with an Indian theme. I'll be doing Bombay Potatoes, Spinach Pilau, home-made Poppadoms (also some store-bought Naan breads cos I'm lazy and have never baked in my life) and a Chicken Dopiaza recipe from recipezaar (I did try to include the url in this posts but unfortunately do not have enough posts to do this). It calls for 3 bay leaves, 8 whole cardomoms, 4 cloves and 8 peppercorns to be sauteed before adding ground spices and then tomatoes & water before the chicken goes in.

My one concern with this recipe is the sheer number of potentially annoying ingredients left in it: as I'll be doubling the amount there could be 6 bay leaves, 16 cardomom pods, 8 cloves and 16 black peppercorns left in the dish if I don't fish them out. The recipe doesn't say anything about removing them, but do you think I could get away with removing them after adding the ground spices but before adding the tomatoes and water? Otherwise I could have people choking on bay leaves, spitting out cloves and cardomoms and breaking their teeth on peppercorns! I have considered grinding the peppercorns up, but will that significantly affect the flavour of the dish? If I were to grind the cardomoms up, would I still use the same number or would the extra dissipation, and the fact that it's remaining in the meal mean that I should use less? Also, I must confess to never having used cloves, would it be alright to grind these also? If so, 6 bay leaves would be an acceptable hazard!

Cheers in advance for any tips!

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Old 08-29-2008, 08:16 AM   #2
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Wrap all the offending items in cheesecloth, tie it off with string and toss it into the pot to cook the whole time with all the ingredients and remove the bundle before serving.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:23 AM   #3
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Ah good idea, thanks for the tip! Now to find some cheesecloth :)
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:39 AM   #4
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I'm with Andy's idea also.
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:37 AM   #5
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They sell little screened pods that do the same thing too. It's made from stainless steel. You load it up with your herbs and latch it shut then drop it in whatever your cooking. I think I saw them either at Linens & Things or Williams Sonoma.
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
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Jeekinz and Andy both stole what i was going to say

cheese cloth is kidan expensive but has so many uses

but they do make a stainless steal mesh ball. mostly used for tea but if you make a lot of stock or dish that require hrbs and what not to be taken out it works nicely.


I have used a terry towel a few times in a pinch
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:04 AM   #7
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Can you share your pappadum recipe???
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:04 AM   #8
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Oh yeah, I forgot it was meant for tea! lol
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:52 AM   #9
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herei s a pic jsut for S&G

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Old 08-29-2008, 11:25 AM   #10
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What's the proper name for that "gadget"? lol.
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